A large gathering of inquisitive devotees from various parts of the State thronged the Sri Agastheeswarar temple at the scenic Vinnampalli village, about 25 km from here, on Wednesday, to watch the morning sun rays enter the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.
At exactly 6.20 am, the first sun rays touched the front ‘prakaram’ of the temple and gradually moved towards the presiding deity, as the sun rose higher. For nearly half an hour, the devotees watched the sun rays in silent devotion as it moved into the temple and touched the three-foot lingam. Special pujas were performed when the sun rays touched the lingam. Most of them took photographs and some videographed the event.
“I have been waiting to watch this marvel which occurs once a year,” said Paramasivam, a businessman from Chennai. Interestingly, the sun rays falls on the lingam for half-an-hour every day for only seven days in a year during the month of April, the Tamil month of Panguni. This year it could be witnessed between April 5 and 11, he added.
“I am not able to understand why the rays fall on the lingam only during these seven days in a year,” wondered Latha, a techie from Bangalore. However, her colleague Prakash attributed the geo-positioning of the temple (which faces east) and the size of the main entrance, which is around five feet by three feet, and allows sun rays in for only a limited number of days in a year.
A portion of the temple is being rebuilt and the kumbabishekam is expected to be performed shortly, Balakrishna Naidu, the temple manager said.
Locals believe that the temple was built by great sage Agasthiyar to help Sun God (Surya) to worship Lord Shiva for seven days, to get rid of the curse.